Tuesday, May 3, 2016

When Is the Best Time To Sell My property?

We are all about the seasons and seasons affect our lives and activities. So what is the best season to sell your LAND?

If you are selling a house, you probably want it ready to show in the spring. The flowers are in bloom, pools look inviting, the grass is green and lush and the kids are easy to move while school is out.

What about LAND? Well that depends on the type LAND. Land breaks down into categories: agricultural (row crops and ranches), timberland, development, recreational etc. The type LAND you are selling will dictate the best time to sell.

AGRICULTURAL –  Typically these properties should be on the market when crops are growing. These properties should be shown in the spring and summer.

TIMBERLAND – It gets nasty hot and humid here in the deep south and honestly folks just don’t like walking around in the woods looking at property. Cool weather brings folks out and the activity picks up. These type properties show best in the fall and winter.

RECREATIONAL – Recreational activity sort of mirrors timberland. The hunting season generally starts in the fall and goes into the winter. These properties show best in the fall, the food plots are green, the weather is great and the buyer envisions himself shooting that big buck. Waterfowl properties should be shown when ponds are full and there are plenty of ducks.

Following is a chart of land sales by quarter provided by a Farm Credit Bank.

What you see bears out quantitatively the above on timber and recreation properties. The buyers start looking in the fall and winter and these properties sell and close in the 1st and 2nd quarters of the following year.

There are other thing just as important when selling your land and they are price and appearance.

There are other factors you should consider when selling....
Appearance - I have had folks clear-cut their timber then ask me to try and sell their land. It looked like a nuclear bomb went off…..DON’T DO IT. It is all about the curb appeal. If your property does not look nice, it probably won’t get looked at. Mowing roads and a nice gated entrance go a long way!

Price - Last and maybe most important is the PRICE. If you are using a highly qualified ‘land broker’ then the advertising and marketing is being taken care of. There are some premium websites to advertise property. If your property is not selling, then you have it priced too high.

In summary, pick the best season to sell your type property, pick a highly qualified "land broker" and price it correctly. If your property is on the market for over 9 months, you have it priced too high!!

To see my listings visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com Buying and Selling LAND? Contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF @ 706.457.0090

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Should I thin every 3rd Row or 5th Row?

I was talking to a colleague the other day about a stand of trees that where recently thinned for the second time. The stand of trees is split by a road and each side is owned by a different owner. The entire tract was originally owned by a paper company and planted at the same time! The differences are huge. One side of the road was thinned by removing every third road, the other removing every fifth row. The trees in the stand where every fifth row was removed are much larger!!

Every 5th Row Removed

Let’s talk some forestry ecology. Each site has a finite carrying capacity, that is each site will grow only a certain number of cubit feet (or tons) per year. That can only be changed by practices like tillage, fertilization, genetics etc. As the forest practitioner, you get to decide how the volume growth is applied to the stand. Where there are lots of trees, only small incremental amounts are added to each tree, conversely where there are fewer trees, you will add larger amounts of volume to each tree. Trees will naturally thin themselves if you provide no intervention, that is a bad thing. The practitioner should decide which trees stay to grow and which trees are removed from the stand.

Every 3rd Row Removed

Now the question…do I remove every third row or fifth row. The answer….remove every fifth row. In a third row thinning, you are removing 1/3 of the good trees, in a fifth row thinning you are only removing 1/5 of the good trees. The result is the 3rd row thinning removes 13.33% more of the good trees that should be left as crop tress. Removing a row is acceptable as the harvesting equipment needs room to access the stand and thin the trees. See my blog post about harvesting equipment…

Assuming the trees are planted in 10 foot rows, after removing the row, the harvesting equipment now has a 20 foot corridor to fell and skid the trees through the stand to the loading deck. In my judgment, the stand where every fifth row was remove is likely to put an additional $500 - $700 per acre in the landowners pocket. Sounds like a no-brainer to me!!

To view my listings visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com  Questions about buying or selling LAND, contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF at 706.457.0090

Friday, March 25, 2016

Mixing Forestry and Real Estate

I had a client approach me about their property. After a conversation with them, it was apparent that they wanted to sell their property but not immediately. They have a 5 – 10 year time frame for selling. They were interested in generating some immediate cash flow from the property. I did a site visit and it was apparent that there was some low hanging fruit….lots of merchantable timber. About 75 acres were planted Loblolly pines about 15 years old and ready for a first thinning. About 110 acres were natural pines and hardwoods probably 40 – 45 years old. The stand was heavily stocked so there was a great opportunity to remove lots of timber and leave a very nice stand of trees.

I put a video together showing the before, operation in progress and the after.

The moral of the story, if you are a timberland owner, there may be a opportunity for you to generate some cash and still sell a very attractive tract of land…. See you can have your cake and eat it too!!

To view my listings visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com  If you have questions about buying or selling LAND, contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF @ 706.457.0090

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tell Me More About Surveying!

Although I am not a surveyor, I get questions about surveying from time to time so I thought the topic worthy of a post.

Purpose – The purposes of a survey are numerous, the most common are: 1) Determine property lines and corners and 2) Determine the number of acres in a tract or parcel of land.

Benefit –  There again there are many but I will only list a few: 1) Determine exact number of acres, many properties are sold on a $ Per Acre, so the final sales price is determined by a survey and 2) Discovery of encroachments including fences, gardens, buildings etc

Process – Obviously with great leaps in technology and the large number of satellites in use for Global Positioning Systems, surveying techniques have changed as well and in my opinion not all for the best. A decade or so ago, surveyors used transits to measure angles and distances. This required having light of sight requiring the property line being cleared of brush and limbs. This resulted in easy identification of the property lines after the survey was completed.  

Surveying today uses differential GPS requiring 2 receivers. One receiver at a know position provides positional error correction to the roving or working receiver. The corrections are transmitted in real-time by radio link or preformed by post survey processing. Of course this provides very accurate measurements but no line-of-sight. A survey can be completed now without the property lines being marked or flagged on the ground. The use of GPS technology allows the surveyor to move from corner to corner and usually it is by the easiest and most convenient method.

Remember all the Sine and Cosine calculations in your Geometry class? Well survey accuracy is measured by ‘survey closure’. This is the ratio by which the survey fails to close to the perimeter of the tract surveyed. It is a mathematical exercise.

Here is the take away….If you want the property lines marked and flagged, ASK FOR IT BUT THERE WILL BE AN ADDITIONAL COST!!

If you would like to see my listings, visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com  Questions about buying or selling LAND? Contact G. Kent Morris, ALC, RF @ 706.457.0090

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Realtors Land Institute Survey is Out - Land Prices & Trends

The 'Realtors Land Institute' Land Survey is Out with tons of valuable information. The survey is published based on Land Broker responses from across the US.  The US is broken up to different regions to help quantify the data. See the following picture.

The bulk of Land Brokers sell Agricultural, Residential and Recreational properties!

 Change in Land prices by Type from last year!
Land prices generally rose 2-3% from one year ago!

Expected Change in prices for 2016!
We are expecting 2-4% increases in the SouthEast depending on Land Type!

By far, the bulk of land SOLD is classified as Residential, Agricultural and Recreational.

 Type of Land Sold by Region

As you can see from the chart above, the bulk of the property SOLD in the southeast US is Timber, Residential and Recreational. The take away is simple, the bottom has occurred and we are expecting modest increases in prices going forward.  If you are contemplating buying LAND....don't wait!!

To see my listings, visit AllSouthLandandHomes.com.  If you have questions about buying or selling LAND, contact G. Kent Morris @ 706.457.0090